More box office records crumbled as Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight continued its vertiginous climb. Heath Ledger’s psychotic Joker seduced viewers nationwide to the tune of $75.6 million this weekend, making his movie the country’s favorite once again—and by a $45.6 million margin. Here in Gotham’s real-world counterpart, The Dark Knight claimed $1.1 million in sales—a full $772,704 over second-place Step Brothers.
The Times tells us The Dark Knight‘s $75.6 million is "the best second-weekend gross in recent Hollywood history." (An impressive figure for sure, though we wonder just how "recent.") And with $314.2 million in domestic sales since its July 18 opening, The Dark Knight also scored a record for the highest-grossing opening ten days in Hollywood history.
In fact New York’s top four box office draws mirrored the nation’s this week. (The sixth, eighth, and tenth spots matched up as well!), proving that while through much of the year New Yorkers may support quirky ones, we, like everyone else, go for the blockbusters when summer calls. And the opening-weekend scene: earnings here fell 50 percent from last week’s open to this weekend, much further than they did nationwide.
Mamma Mia! pulled in a reputable $241,460 in Manhattan this weekend, dropping it from second to third place. Arriving in fourth place (and with decidedly mixed reviews), The X-files: I Want to Believe managed only $161,913 locally and $10.2 nationally in its opening weekend. Fox’s executives must be kicking themselves for getting embroiled in a lawsuit with Chris Carter—the original show’s creator (and the new film’s director)—that delayed the movie’s production for five years. Had I Want to Believe appeared soon after the series’ demise in 2003, Scully and Mulder might have received a better reception. In 2008, the pair can’t help but come off like refugees from a decade we’ve all left behind (The Wackness notwithstanding).
New Yorkers continued to prove themselves enamored with Pixar’s Wall-E this weekend. Wrapping up its fifth weekend in theaters, the film is the oldest among the city’s top ten. Yet, the little trash-compactor that could managed to hold on to its fifth spot (compared to seventh nationally) with a $92,568 showing—the first film besides The Dark Knight to hold on to its previous week’s position in a long while. Wall-E might just stay in the top-ten long enough to see the emergence of a real-world environmental melt-down… or at least another Pixar masterpiece.
List of theaters: Paris, Zeigfeld, Oprheum, East 85th St., 86th St. East, 84th St., Lincoln Plaza, 62nd and Broadway, Lincoln Square, Magic Johnson, 72nd St East, Cinemas 1, 2 &3rd Ave, 64th and 2nd , Imaginasian, Manhattan Twin, First and 62nd St., Angelika Film Center, Quad, IFC Center, Film Forum, Village East, Village Seven, Cinema Village, Union Square, Essex, Battery Park 11, Sunshine, 34th Street, Empire, E-Walk, Chelsea, 19th Street East, and Kips Bay.
Manhattan Weekend Box Office: How moviegoers in the multiplexes of middle America choose to spend their ten-spot is probably a big deal in Hollywood. But here in Manhattan, the hottest movies aren’t always the ones making the big bucks nationwide. Using Nielsen numbers for Manhattan theaters alone and comparing them to the performance of the national weekend box office can tell you a lot about our Blue State sensibilities. Or nothing at all! Each Monday afternoon, we will bring you the results.